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The Pros and Cons of a Background Check


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First, What Is Background Checking?

As the name suggest, it is the process of scrutinizing the personal history of a person. This is done by consulting official and commercial records. In the past, one can do a background search by enlisting the aid of the police. Today though, private companies offer to do background search on people for a fee.

Background checking is usually done when a person applies for a job especially a delicate one. Usually, employers would hire people they can trust and if that means checking the background of participants, they would do it. The necessity of a background check is even more pronounced when a person applies for a sensitive position, such as jobs which will put them in close contact with children and the elderly. People who are applying for government posts also undergo background checks.

The Why

Consider these figures and you will see why it is important for companies and the government to employ background checks:

  • 1 in 32 grownups in the United States has a criminal record
  • There are about 6 million threats of violence in the workplace every year
  • 2 million workplace assaults happen every year
  • 13 people die every week as a result of workplace violence
  • 36 percent of applications are falsified
With those reasons, it is not surprising that companies do background check on applicants. There are jobs where a person is required to work around sensitive information especially in the government and that is another reason to run a background check on people applying for government posts.

The Why Not

While there are a lot of valid reasons for companies to check the background of applicants they are interested in hiring, there are also several factors why some companies forego this process. One reason is that it takes some time and money to do a background check. Thus, small companies tend to give up background checking.

On the other end of the spectrum, some employees are against background checking believing that it is a form of invasion of privacy. Another reason being put forward by people opposed to background checking is that people might not be able to land a good job for doing something stupid during their youth. Another could be the belief that a background check could result to illegal discrimination based on the past of a person or the people he or she is associated with in the past.

George Foerstel is the pen name of a sports blogger moonlighting as an article writer. Check out his rants on daily dose of Sports


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